Washington: US President Barack Obama has said that countries like India and China are on the move and growing much rapidly, warning that America is facing stiff competition from these nations.

"There are rapidly growing nations like China and India - they're hungry; they're on the move," Obama said at a fund raiser event in New York where he disclosed that one of the reasons why he ran for presidency in 2008 was because it is now a world where America is facing stiff competition for good jobs.

"For a long time we were told that the best way to win this competition was to undermine consumer protections, undermine clean air and clean water laws, hand out tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, and everything would work out just fine. It did not work out well. In fact, if you look at our history, you'll see that philosophy has never worked our very well," Obama said.

At another speech in New York, Obama said a lot has changed since then. "I am a little grayer. My daughters say it makes me look distinguished. And Michelle says it makes me look old. But I think back to that day in Grant Park on Election Day, and speaking to the American people and trying to absorb this incredible honor. And I said to so many of you that as special as this night was, this was not the end; this was just the beginning," he said.

"The reason I said that was because I had decided to run for President's post because I thought the gap had grown too large between the country we know we can be and the country as it was. We'd gone through a decade in which incomes and wages for ordinary people had actually gone down," he said.

"We had gone through a decade that had seen a hemorrhaging of manufacturing in this country. We had gone through a decade in which the costs of everything from health care to college tuition to gas were going up and too many families were just treading water. We'd gone through a decade of two wars, a diminished respect for America around the world," he said.

Obama said his track record of the last two and a half years is one that he could not be prouder of.

"But what is also true is we've got so much work left to do, because there are still millions of people across the countries who are hurt. I hear from them every day. People who send out 16, 30, 50 resumes, and haven’t gotten an answer back and are starting to feeling they will never find a job again. People who have lost their homes. People who have seen their small business and their life savings lost in the crisis," he said.

"Some of the big projects that we set for ourselves during the campaign have not yet been done. We still don't have an energy policy that is suitable for the 21st century... We still have that project to deal with climate change in a serious way. Those things haven’t changed," he said.

"We still have so much more work to do on education. We have made great strides, but we have to hit the goal that I set that once again we will have the highest proportion of college graduates of any country in the world," Obama said.

"Every single young person who is willing to apply themselves can afford to go to college without taking on hundreds of thousands of debt. That is still something that we’ve got to accomplish," he said.

(Agencies)